Reviewers – Album Of The Year – Frank Holby

Our next AOTY list comes from Mr Frank Holby, here’s what made his head bang in 2022…

What a year for thrash metal release 2022 has been, the quality of the music in the main has been very high. Picking a top three is almost impossible, I’m sure on another day my picks would be different. 

 Number 3: Ninth Realm – A Fate Unbroken.

What impressed me most about this album is the depth of sound with a quality of production that belies the fact this is a debut record.  It’s fast aggressive and at times borders on death metal, particularly on the vocals. If you like bands like “Plague Years” or “Power Trip” this will definitely hit the spot.

Number 2: Amken – Passive Aggression

The second full-length release from the Greek thrash outfit brings a better quality of songwriting and musicianship. There is a good mixture of fast technical to heavier mid-paced numbers. The early Bay Area influence bleeds through on certain tracks, as do a few “Kreator” style riffs. But there is more than enough of their own input to keep it interesting. Again I have to mention how impressed I am with the quality of the production. 

 Number 1: Municipal Waste – Electrified Brain

The number one Thrash/Crossover band (ever?) deliver 14 songs that do not let you draw breath coming in at just under 34 minutes. It’s a pedal to the metal assault on your senses from the opening riff to the last. This release is probably the closest they have got to a pure thrash record, there is still a bit of the punk attitude in most songs, but the metal is overriding in the main. It even pays homage to other bands in the song “Ten Cent Beer”  see how many you can hear.

Special mentions also to Xentrix – Seven Words, Assault – A Blind Eye, Exul – Path To The Unknown, Critical Defiance – No Life Forms, Tymo – The Art Of A Maniac & Traitor – Exiled To The Surface

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